This has taken far too long.

On May 1, a young man died after an intensely emotional confrontation with local police.

It was a traumatic event for everyone involved: The young man’s family, the officer who fired the fatal shot and those who were witnesses.

It was also a historic event, believed to be the first police action fatal shooting in the county’s history.

But nearly two weeks later, only sketchy details have been officially provided.

There’s plenty of unofficial information out there, of course. That’s the way it is in this era of social media gossip.

But official authorities have kept a tight lid on things.

And that serves no one’s interest.

It’s not fair to the young man’s family. It’s certainly not fair to the officers involved. It’s also not fair to Portland Police Department and Jay County Sheriff’s Office.

Instead, it creates a fertile environment for speculation, misinformation, rumor and nonsense.

Jay County Prosecutor Wes Schemenaur firmly and steadfastly believes that information control is critical in any criminal investigation. He’s tight-lipped with details. He’s well aware that statements to the press and public can derail justice.

And we can’t fault him for that.

But a police action shooting is something different.

When a private citizen is killed during a confrontation with public law enforcement, there is a higher standard to be met. Transparency and candor should be the guides.

So, what should have happened?

•The City of Portland — Mayor John Boggs and police chief Nathan Springer — should have issued a public statement, expressing regret and a determination to see the matter resolved justly for all involved.

•The deceased should have been identified publicly by law enforcement officials within 24 hours after the incident.

•The officer or officers involved who have been placed on administrative leave should have been publicly identified. Holding that information back is counterproductive. It casts a cloud over the entire department and implies there is something to hide.

Those steps aren’t perfect, but that’s a start. — J.R.